This morning started off with the gathered media crowd being whipped into a frenzy by a PowerPoint presentation on changes to the verbiage of certain parts of the rule book. It was impossible to hear your own thoughts over the roar of reporters clamoring for more minutia on changes to instant replay review. The ballroom was threatening to dissolve into mob rule. I HAVE THE CONCH SHELL BOHLS, YOU LISTEN TO ME NOW!
Fortunately help arrived before we killed Piggy. Missouri head football coach and disappointed high school English teacher Gary Pinkel took the stage to remind us that Missouri is a very capable football team and you're never going to get anywhere in life if you don't apply yourself.
After nearly 17 seconds of opening remarks, Pinkel fielded questions on quarterback Maty Mauk, depth on the defensive line, winning the SEC East, and why you can't have another extension on your English paper. It's due by the end of the day or you will receive an incomplete. He's sorry, but he has given you more time than the rest of the class already.
And Michael Sam. There were Michael Sam questions.
Missouri does have the new aspect of coming off a surprising season and an SEC East title, leading to questions on how to maintain the momentum:
First of all, you keep it going by winning. That's real simple. I don't really get into that. I don't get into what is said or what's predicted. Someone apologized to me a little while ago the way they voted after this thing. I said, I don't know how you voted for us, I don't really care.
Pinkel went to school because he wanted to write, not babysit a bunch of spoiled brats.
Things picked up significantly when the Missouri players spent time with the media. The hot topic of player compensation was given a fresh new twist with players who (at least publicly) were fine with their current situation or whatever else came along so long as they got to play the game.
Evan Boehm - C:
We have it pretty good now. We have benefits. Well, I won't say benefits in case the NCAA hears this.
We get our school paid for, we have a weight room. With the new food rule we can eat for free. That's huge.
Markus Golden - DL
I've been playing football since I was a kid, like since I was four. It’s all I ever loved to do. You ain't got to pay me to play football, I love it. I love to go out there and compete. I know one day I'm going to be able to take care of my mom from doing this, that will be a blessing. But right now I'm not worried about money. I want to make plays and give my cousins something to brag about when they see me on TV get a sack or something. That's bigger than money.
Like everyone else who has set foot in Hoover this week quarterback Maty Mauk was asked for his thoughts on Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns. He explained how Johnny Football is a role model (on the field).
He can change a game so quick by being able to make plays, and that's something I feel like I can do and that I have to do. So he's someone that I can look to, I watch him on film all the time and he was a great player and someone I'm going to try to play like.